Growth, jobs and protectionism are worries of 2012

Growth, jobs and protectionism are worries of 2012

GENEVA - Reuters
Growth, jobs and protectionism are worries of 2012

The World Economic Forum will take place next week at the Swiss ski resort of Davos. REUTERS photo

Economic growth, jobs and protectionism are the top three worries at the start of 2012, according to a “Call to Action” published by 11 leaders of international organizations yesterday in a bid to kick-start debate at next week’s Davos Forum.

The signatories, including the heads of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization,

comprise the “Global Issues Group” of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Geneva-based organization that runs the exclusive annual networking shindig in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

“While the global economy faces severe challenges, it can regain momentum by supporting the economic transformation underway in the emerging world by meeting the infrastructure needs around the globe and by beginning to realize the promise of a greener economy,” they said.

They called for a “more comprehensive action plan” that could be agreed on at the Group of 20 summit in Mexico in June, and said countries could rebuild confidence by implementing proposed reforms and by increasing global cooperation.

The three-page list of issues and proposed solutions, which the group said did not necessarily reflect the views of their organizations, is unlikely to stir much controversy.

Their five-point plan for reigniting growth included restoring confidence in financial institutions, cutting deficits without cutting growth, addressing youth and long-term unemployment and using public-private partnerships to help countries finance investments without adding to deficits.

The signatories were Financial Stability Board chairman Mark Carney, World Health Organization chief Margaret Chan, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, WTO director-general Pascal Lamy, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, World Bank chief Robert Zoellick, and the leaders of the International Labour Organization, World Food Programme, and three regional development banks.